Posted: 12:16 am Saturday, September 12th, 2009
By Jason Lieser
Seminole Ridge, No. 11 in our pre-season rankings, jumped on Santaluces 21-0 in the first six minutes of the game and rolled to a 48-0 demolition of the Chiefs at Callery-Judge Stadium. Here are five quick observations about the Hawks’ win:
1. Seminole Ridge can run and stop the run. It’s not much of a litmus test considering the Hawks opened with wins over John I. Leonard and Santaluces, two teams that combined to go 6-14 last year, but Seminole Ridge is showing some signs early that it can control the line of scrimmage. Chiefs’ senior Jerrod Lacy got loose for 68 yards on eight carries, but the rest of Santluces’ runners combined for an average of 2.1 yards per attempt. Seminole Ridge held the Chiefs to 3 yards or fewer on 12 of their 23 rushes. Offensively, the Hawks are struggling with the passing game, but have enough variety in their rushing attack to keep defenses guessing. Three different players topped 45 yards on the ground and each of the seven ball carriers had a run of at least 8 yards. Hard to say if they can have the same success against strong district foes like Atlantic and Boca Raton, but right now the rushing attack and the run defense look like strengths.
2. The Chiefs have some talented skill players, but most of them will graduate after this year. Santaluces is in somewhat of a rebuilding mode under new coach Daryl Drinkwater, but the team has a short window to win with most of its good skill players. Lacy is a talent on both sides of the ball. He was the Chiefs’ leading rusher, caught a pass for 13 yards and intercepted QB Hayden Collier for Santaluces’ only takeaway. Also included among the seniors are QB Justin Patterson (8/18 passing for 62 yards and had a nice 12-yard run for a first down early in the second quarter), WR C.J. Roberts (game-high three catches for 23 yards) and RB Tayshawn Martinez (5 carries for 17 yards). RB/WR Terrance Floyd (17-yard run in the first quarter) is a junior and will be back for one more season.
3. Seminole Ridge is one of the area’s best when it comes to special teams. Hawks coach Matt Dickmann is part of the Charlie Persson coaching tree, so this isn’t surprising. K Matt Johnson sent 3 of 7 kickoffs into the end zone. The other four resulted in Santaluces starting drives at its own 12, 16, 17 and 35. Johnson, a junior, also had a 37-yard punt to the Chiefs’ 13. Unfortunately for the Hawks, Johnson took a helmet to his non-kicking angle when Santaluces blocked his 48-yard field goal try with 10:08 remaining. He left the game and Dickmann said he is unsure of the extent of Johnson’s injury. His back-up, Matt Fioramonti, drilled his only kickoff deep into Santaluces’ territory and the Chiefs started that drive at their own 14. DB Jeffrey Nasice blocked a punt on Santaluces’ first possession, which Woodley Cadet recovered in the end zone for the first score of the game.
4. Chiefs need to straighten out their dysfunction. This team is good enough to vie for a playoff spot in District 12-5A (the other three teams are Royal Palm Beach, John I. Leonard and Lake Worth), but they need to correct some mental mistakes and attitude issues. Drinkwater felt like his players quit once Seminole Ridge went up 21-0. The Chiefs took a timeout before their first offensive play of the game. They amassed 83 yards on nine penalties. One play nullified by a flag was a 23-yard completion from Patterson to Roberts, which would have been Santluces’ biggest play of the night. On top of those problems, players were involved in a heated verbal dispute on the field after the game. None of those are the marks of a playoff team, but the good news for Santaluces is those issues are fixable.
5. Seminole Ridge WR Jeacky Charles got away with one. Charles flashed a big, guilty smile when asked about his 65-yard touchdown catch. On second-and-4 from the Hawks’ 35-yard line, Charles streaked down the right side of the field against Lacy. Before Collier’s pass arrived, Charles appeared to stiff arm Lacy to the ground with his right hand, leaving him wide open for the catch with 5:47 left in the third quarter. It’s possible Lacy slipped on the swampy turf, but it looked from the press box, and from Charles’ smile, that he had some help falling down. The play was virtually irrelevant, though, because the Hawks already were up 34-0.